Thursday, June 2, 2022

REVIEW: 'This Is Going to Hurt' - Adam Deals With Exhausting and Consecutive Shifts at the Hospital in 'Episode 1'

AMC's This Is Going to Hurt - Episode 1.01 "Episode 1"

Adam juggles his personal life with his hectic job on the labor ward. In the chaos of the day, he makes a mistake.

"Episode 1" was written by Adam Kay and directed by Lucy Forbes

Even in a hospital system that provides free medical care, the staff are overwhelmed. It's a polarizing concept for an American audience because the stresses of our system are so completely different. So much of it is dictated by the burden of what everything costs. That's the predominate fear despite how complicated these medical procedures can be. This show sets out to show the extreme pressures of the decisions and responsibilities placed on the staff. They feel the calling to be in this place and provide this care for the people who need it the most. However, it's exhausting and truly comes at the expense of everything else in their lives. Adam has clearly compartmentalized his life. He has a lot going for him. He's in a committed relationship with Harry. He has friends who depend on him. He has an acting authority position at his floor in the hospital. In contrast to that, he has a strained dynamic with his mother and a personality that doesn't make many friends at work. He has all the skills to thrive. He knows what he's talking about. He is still capable of making mistakes. He's at that place in his life where important decisions must be made about what he cares about. His friends feel like he is betraying them because he returns to work. They want him to come out with them for Greg's final night of fun before his wedding. Adam is meant to be the person planning this event. Instead, he's distracted and can't provide the friendship others need from him. He is absent. People depend on him at work. He feels the service to be there when he's called upon. It comes at the expense of so much. He can't even think about handling his mother who has been alerted to the possibility that something may have happened to him. Harry worries when Adam doesn't come home one night. Adam simply feel asleep in his car. He never made it out of the hospital parking lot. That's as far as he could go from this place. That was his physical limitation. He reached his breaking point and had to collapse. When he wakes up, he has to endure yet another tragically long shift. It's more than the typical 12 hours he must do as well. When he eventually escapes to the party, he is called back in for the night. The hospital depends on him. He is meant to train the younger doctors learning the ways of the hospital. He can serve in that leadership position. However, it dawns on him much too late when he needs a more qualified surgeon to come in and help with a precarious case. Adam feels the pressure to be the best and serve as an exceptional surgeon. Carrying all that burden by himself without recognizing the service of those around him will only lead to a colossal breakdown that the system itself can't really afford.

That's the most cynical thing about this whole narrative. It all depends on Adam feeling called upon to keep showing up for the job. He does so despite the poor working conditions, the patients who can behave in any way whatsoever and the little opportunity to do much else. Adam arrives at work with a case already featuring major complications. He knows exactly how to react in that situation even though it's scary for awhile. He's in a compromising position throughout the hospital floor as he tries to get to the operating room. It's a comedy of errors as the building and the staff seem incapable of providing him with the support he ends. It still comes to a happy conclusion. Adam can witness that joy later on. That's the beauty that comes from this whole ordeal. He is bringing new life into this world. He can ridicule what this specialty actually means. His patients increase as a result of his actions. That's the successful version of events. It's a happy celebration. Adam never wants to lose sight of that. He keeps track of the babies he delivers. That statistic really doesn't matter. All it takes is one mistake to completely derail the career he has given his life to. Now, the action frequently points out Erika. It notes how she talks to several staff members hoping to see a doctor soon. Her time in the examine room with Adam is longer than the others who were waiting to be seen. Adam wants to write her off as worrying over nothing. Shruti has to remind Adam that it's probably a good idea to draw some blood and send it off for testing. Those results aren't meaningful though. At night, Erika's condition takes a turn for the worse. Adam is overwhelmed. He knows he's expected to perform this procedure. He has seen it done before. He should know how to do it. He only thinks about calling Dr Lockhart once the surgery goes awry. The nurse everyone dismissed at the start of the night had the right sense to call him before it even started. That allowed the life to be saved. Adam was reckless with his decision-making. As such, he begs for forgiveness. This mistake can be covered up. The system doesn't want to lose Adam. He came in when no one else was able to. His caseload is overwhelming. It rings out in tragedy when any error occurs. He's still expected to return to work and keep on going. It's no surprise he just wants to sleep when he's seen anywhere outside the hospital. That's what his life dictates right now. It's a pattern that simply can't be broken even though the system doesn't set him up for much success or appreciation. Instead, he simply has to be trusted to do the work without being too arrogant and pompous in the process. That's all anyone wants from him. That stability can be reliable. It can encroach on his entire being to his own personal detriment too though.